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D&D 5E Monster's body as a dungeon

toucanbuzz

Legend
Looking for some ideas for a monster's body as a dungeon/puzzle.

Setup: PCs are running a fledgling barony and on their border is a troll with ambitions to run his own monster kingdom (Kingmaker adaptation). When he dies, a fey pact kicks in and an ancient colossal being known only as "Talonquake" in legend rises up from beneath his castle and moves to finish off the PCs capital. A mutually assured destruction option if the troll couldn't pacify them into a food and/or slave source as he had going with the bandits who previously ruled the area. The PCs already have come across stories about it.

Rather than make this a hackfest, I was envisioning it more like a puzzle, or a dungeon. Thoughts?
 

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Sithlord

Adventurer
Use a tarasque that was slain way back when by a hero that needed its heart. After millennia its brain is regenerating and causing regional effects as it tries to grow another heart. Enter through the anus and make your way to the brain to destroy the brain before it resurrects itself. Beware the sphincter of madness.
 

This is for an entire campaign but perhaps it has some ideas to borrow...

 


Quartz

Hero
Looking for some ideas for a monster's body as a dungeon/puzzle.

IIRC there's a Dungeon adventure where the 'dungeon' is the innards of a huge construct.
Also somewhat similar is a Dungeon adventure where there's a castle on the back of a (living) monster.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
The 5e-ish setting Neverland by Andrew Kolb includes an overview for a short 10 or 12 room dungeon for the inside of the great crocodile, Tick-Tock. It's not necessarily specifically detailed for the most part (aside from the layout), but it includes suggestions for special effects and encounters for different anatomical parts. For example, poison effects are minimized in the liver "room" as the organ filters the toxins out.
 

toucanbuzz

Legend
I can envision the look on my players' faces... "The only way you can save your barony is to crawl up the rectum of Talonquake and..." (Followed by the sound of 5 chairs moving away from the table, the patter of feet in full run, and the slam of the front door.)
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
There's the Eyes of the Stone Thief that is a living dungeon. IIRC they made a 5e version (it was originally for 13th Age).

There's a setting + system that had its inhabitants living in a world-size monster. The character are scavenger finding weird stuff from worlds eaten previously by the monster. I cant seem to remember the name though.
 

Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
I remember one of the old SSI/TSR video games had the party go through the comatose body of Moander - basically a giant, godlike shambling mound. If you waited too long, every certain amount of rounds, the heart would pulse and it would push you into rooms. I could see mapping that in a very generic, abstract way - come in through a giant wound on the 'leg' and try to get to the brain.
 


I remember one of the old SSI/TSR video games had the party go through the comatose body of Moander - basically a giant, godlike shambling mound. If you waited too long, every certain amount of rounds, the heart would pulse and it would push you into rooms. I could see mapping that in a very generic, abstract way - come in through a giant wound on the 'leg' and try to get to the brain.
That was in Pools of Darkness, where you could visit all sorts of locations on/in Moander, although only the heart was a fully developed dungeon.

There is also the 1991 module Nightmare Keep, which has a huge underground labyrinth that the characters will only slowly figure out is within the body of a giant creature.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Consider a listen to the last few sessions of Campaign 1 of Critical Role. There is a section where the PCs are inside an animated corpse that stands several hundred feet tall that has a small city as a crown at the time.
 

aco175

Legend
I could see more of a dungeon where it is a metaphor of an animal body. The 'head' room has a logic puzzle, the 'heart' room has another challenge. A few fights and such, maybe you are 'born' on your way out- or pooped out, your choice.
 


Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Dead gigantic beings make great dungeons! Even the Guardians of the Galaxy tapped that idea. Unless you want descriptions drenched in bile and stickiness, I might recommend something in a construct though, perhaps something made of stone. An ancient automaton of some kind perhaps? A race against time to prevent it reawakening and carrying out it's ancient programming that will surely destroy the kingdom? IDK, lots of ways to go...
 

The Council of Wyrms setting posited that once metallic dragons aged beyond Great Wyrm they would become guardians, which involved merging with the land. Dungeon magazine 48 had an adventure set in one such guardian.
 

toucanbuzz

Legend
My monster happens to be alive, so I'm hoping they won't decide to crawl up its nether regions for fun.

Since it's a slow behemoth, they'll have a few days to figure something out, but direct combat shouldn't be a viable solution.
 

Liane the Wayfarer

Frumious Flumph
This is a classic idea. I think in D&D the first instance was the module Earthshaker! from 1985. There was a Role Aids product with the Great Beasts, where I think one of the "dungeons" had you go into one of them that was buried. There have been a number of One Page Dungeons that use the concept. Just a few that sprang to mind:

Down the Gullet of the Space-God, by Joshua Burnett (2011)
Deep in the Purple Worm, by Luka Rejec (2012)
Slumbering Mu Spore, by Mark Griffin (2015)
Prisoners of the Gelatinous Dome!, by Jeff Call (2016)
Ascent of the Robot God, by Matthew Seagle & John Love (2018)
Rampaging Robot, by Karl Stjernberg (2018)
 

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